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Explain Value Bets Better For Me Please

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  1. #1
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    Default Explain Value Bets Better For Me Please

    What exactly is a value bet? Aren't all bets for value?
  2. #2
    I've made too many posts to count in the past (maybe mostly on 2p2 but I think I have on here too) that the whole value bet/bluff was just a very primitive way of thinking about poker. Lots of people have argued against me about it, much better players than I ever was, but I'm right.

    The reason you bet is because it's the most +EV thing to do.

    The idea behind a value bet is that say you're playing a game where you have 4 cards A, K, Q, person with highest card (A here) wins, and you and a villain get dealt a card each. If you look at your card and you have A then a bet is always going to be for value because you can't loose. It's the nuts and we don't have any other cards to come.

    A bluff on the other hand would be if you got dealt a Q. Now your bet is always going to be a bluff because you can't possibly win you have the worst hand. If villain folds enough % of the time then we'll make money if he doesn't well lose.

    This is a well studied and solved game called AKQ, there is lots of stuff on the internet about it and I'm pretty sure Spoon has made a few articles that mention it.

    Now in reality poker is much more complicated than that and it's only in very specific situations we can simplify it to anywhere near that simple and have well defined value bets and bluffs but that is essentially what they mean.

    Overly simplistic definitions are basically
    Value - enough worse hands call to make it profitable
    bluff - enough better hands fold to make it profitable
    Last edited by Savy; 06-18-2017 at 04:47 PM.
  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    I've made too many posts to count in the past (maybe mostly on 2p2 but I think I have on here too) that the whole value bet/bluff was just a very primitive way of thinking about poker. Lots of people have argued against me about it, much better players than I ever was, but I'm right.

    The reason you bet is because it's the most +EV thing to do.
    Guess you're thinking about something like betting for protection? i.e. we bet ace high or flopped bottom pair because villain will fold out his 15% equity? If so, I'm with you in the right situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savy View Post
    Overly simplistic definitions are basically
    Value - enough worse hands call to make it profitable
    bluff - enough better hands fold to make it profitable
    It my be simplistic, but it's the best definition.
  4. #4
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Bean Counter View Post
    It my be simplistic, but it's the best definition.
    best at what?

    Certainly not at capturing the nuances and subtleties of comparing ranges and seeing that there are RARELY situations that are pure value or pure bluff. It's almost always a mixture of both, it's just a matter of how much.

    There are obvious examples where you can't tell whether a bet is value or bluff. If you have an OESFD on the flop, you are over 50% card equity to complete either the straight or (not XOR) the flush. If you jam it against pocket AA, here... is that for value or as a bluff? You are currently WB, but you have equity to end ahead.


    EDIT: the semi-bluff example seems pretty bad in retrospect. I'm sure someone can come up with a better example.
    Last edited by MadMojoMonkey; 06-19-2017 at 11:59 AM.
  5. #5
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcash2 View Post
    Aren't all bets for value?
    If you're doing it right, yes.

    This is the Beginner's Circle forum. No one here is doing it right (at least not often enough).


    ***
    The notion of categorizing bets as value, bluff, or semi-bluff, is that it's an after-the-fact view of poker strategies.

    It assumes the incomplete information is not relevant. It says, "Look, you had X, opponent had Y, and you either were or were not ahead when you made that bet."

    The reality is that you can never know this when it matters. You only find out what Villain actually holds after all the decisions are over. It's not an insightful way of characterizing a bet to use post-analysis terminology when trying to educate someone on how to be good at betting.

    It's much better to talk about ranges.

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